DEAR DEIDRE: I AM in love with a wonderful man who wants us to have a baby together but he doesn’t know that I’m working as a prostitute. I so long to sort my life out, stop being angry and controlling, stop the sex work and be normal.
My partner is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I met him three years ago when I was 24. He loves me unconditionally, proposed to me and I fell in love for the first time in my life.
He is 43. He wants us to have a baby soon and is wondering why I don’t get pregnant. We’re going for fertility tests, which makes me feel so depressed because I’m not in the right place mentally to have a child when I’m so messed up in my life.
He works abroad a lot and I live with my best friend while he’s away. She’s the only person who knows how I make my living. I’ve lived with her since my parents threw me out when I was 18.
I’ve been through horrible things and been beaten up but I feel I can’t stop because the money is so good and I never want to go back to being poor and homeless. But I feel so guilty about deceiving my partner.
He knows I had a terrible childhood. My mum used to hit me and say things like she wished I had died. She wants nothing to do with me now. He is patient with me but I know I’m making him unhappy.
I am controlling and verbally abusive. I tell him I wish he was dead like my mum used to say to me — though I hate myself for saying these things. I keep on at him until he is begging me stop. It’s like I have all this anger and rage inside me. I’m scared I will lose him. He is the only stable thing in my life.
DEIDRE SAYS: You have every right to be angry. Nobody deserves a miserable, unloved childhood. You can get help to work through those painful memories with someone you can trust – and accept that you are now an adult and can make choices.
Then you can accept that you are not your mother and do not have to continue to see yourself as permanently damaged. Contact the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (napac.org.uk, 0808 801 0331).
When you feel able, tell the man you love that you are getting help to put your awful childhood behind you. Then you may find you are able to tell your man how you have been earning your living and be on the way to changing that.
I’m sure you know doing what you are doing is putting your safety and sexual health at risk. Look at boosting your earning power in other ways by upping your skills. You wrote me such an articulate letter, you are clearly a highly intelligent person.
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